A Seminar on Discernment…
THE ART OF PSYCHO-SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT IN RELIGIOUS LIFE

Discernment is the quality of being able to grasp or comprehend what is obscure. It is an act of perceiving or discerning something. Discernment has many dimensions, such as, Religious, Moral, Mystical, Ignatian and Psychological.

In Christianity, Discernment is a seeking of God’s will in my life through the inner movements of the spirit. We are all called to discernment because Christian life is precisely a response to God’s will and call to discipleship. Hence it is important that I learn to be in touch with myself and get to know myself better. Discernment of spirits is also a challenging task. It requires maturity, inner quiet, and an ability to reflect on one’s interior life.

Discernment acts as a means of protection, guarding us from being deceived spiritually. It also acts as an instrument of healing, when exercised in grace. Further, discernment functions as a key to Christine freedom by forming and educating our conscience.

Finally, discernment serves as a catalyst to spiritual development. Hence, we should pray always, “Lord, I am your servant; give me discernment” (Ps. 119:125).

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On January 21, 2018, Dhyanavana, International Institute of Spirituality, in association with CRI Mysore Diocese, organized a full day seminar on Discernment…The Art of Psycho-Spiritual Discernment in Religious Life, in Pushpashrama Auditorium, Mysore. At 9:00 a.m. the seminar started with registration and at around 9:15 am the programme began.

The Seminar commenced by invoking God’s blessings. Rev. Sr. Juanita CSST Provincial, Inaugurated the Seminar. The CRI Provincials were the Chief Guests and Rev. Fr. Dominic Vas OCD - Director of Dhyanavana welcomed the gathering and briefed the audience about the purpose of the seminar. The lighting of the lamp was done by all the dignitaries of the Seminar. The Seminar was a grand success for which many priests, religious and brothers from near and far attended the seminar accounting to around 400 in number.

The First Session was dealt by Very Rev. Fr. Charles Serrao, OCD, Provincial, Karnaataka-Goa Province, on “The Pedagogy of Discernment for the Religious and Priestly Formation” (Religious Perspective).

The Second Session was dealt by Rev. Fr. Archibald Gonsalves, OCD, on “Discernment of Conscience – Voice of God” (Moral Perspective).

The Third Session was dealt by Rev. Fr. Gregory D’Souza, OCD, on “Discernment of Mystical Contemplation / Mystical Phenomena” (Mystical Perspective).

The Fourth Session was dealt by Rev. Fr. Fredrick D’Silva, SJ, on “Discernment of Spirits” (Ignatian Perspective).

The Fifth Session was dealt by Rev. Fr. Praveen D’Souza, OCD, on “Discerning Psychological Problems and Differentiating between Psychological Disorder and Demonic Possession” (Psychological Perspective).

Deliberations and Valediction was done by Rev. Fr. Sylvester D Souza, OCD, Provincial Secretary, Karnaataka-Goa Province.

Vote of Thanks was done by Rev. Sr. Theresina Vadakkekara, USS, CRI Secretary, Mysore Diocese.

Thus, by 5:30 p.m. the seminar concluded by singing the anthem of Dhyanavana followed by tea. All the participants were happy about the seminar being organized on “Discernment” through which they gained a lot of information on the various topics dealt by the eminent speakers of the seminar. They were in praise for the organizers of the seminar, namely – Fr. Dominic Vas, OCD, the Director of Dhyanavana, International Institute of Spirituality, Mysore, as well as the CRI President, Mysore Diocese along with the CRI team.

The Programme was compeered by Rev. Fr. Rovel D’Souza, OCD, and the physical nourishment of the participants was looked after by Rev. Fr. Victor Pais, OCD. We express heartfelt gratitude to Pushpashrama community for their whole hearted cooperation.

 

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